My head is spinning. I have a domain which comes with a Webbuilder, and I’m trying to understand what all the different things mean. Trying to figure things out when I’ve got nobody to ask. I hate it, kind of go crazy inside, like a wild animal trapped, growling, spitting, lashing out. Terror. Way way out of proportion to the problem. Rubber-banding back to childhood.
I guess this is what life was like for me as a kid, it was my default state. Nobody to ask about anything. Ever. What a nightmare. Trying to figure things out on my own. Feeling left out, abandoned. Being left out, abandoned. Having to make my way through an inhospitable world, terrorized, uncertain, afraid, and ashamed of being so.
So lonely. How I longed for a teacher, a parent, somebody. To show me. To hold my hand, make things possible. To talk to me, to listen.
My heart goes out to all the children alive now who have nobody to turn to. It’s the worst thing in the world. Every child should be loved and cherished, nurtured, protected, promoted, by somebody. Every single one. Imagine a world where that happened. How amazing would that be?
I’m going to leave the webbuilding for the day. Something will sink in overnight, I don’t have to get it all done in a day. My day started out well, I want it to continue that way.
I had a beautiful morning. St. Valentine’s day. Jack that’s-not-his-real-name didn’t call or send me flowers, but given the circumstances it’s to be expected. And I didn’t send him anything either. I didn’t let it bother me, I got up and went to the beach, having promised myself yesterday that TODAY I WILL SWIM. I feel as if I’m plagiarising myself here, I wrote that exact sentence to a friend, earlier. Oh well.
I’ve been here six months – ten minutes walk from one of the best beaches in Cape Town – and never let myself swim. Scared. Of the waves, of exposing my body? Something more difficult to explain than that. Just fear of the new? I’ve probably swum about ten times in all the years I’ve lived in Cape Town. Yesterday as I was walking I remembered going to the sea as a child, to a place where the waves were big. I got caught in one and churned around and dumped. I thought I was going to die.
Never got over the fear. I realised that yesterday. And the fear of exposing my body? I don’t know. I’m not malformed or even fat. I’ve always felt inhibited about my body, couldn’t let it take up space, does that make sense? Afraid to. I’ve watched people – children – run around and jump up and down and play in the water, and adults run like crazy and just dive in, and I’ve longed to. Just couldn’t let myself. Thing is I’ve really really really wanted to do it, but felt as if I couldn’t. As if I was being physically restrained. In manacles or even behind bards.
Today I woke up and thought I have to do it. I have to go swimming today. It was such a mission to just do it. I watched myself being scared, and was kind of flummoxed. What was I scared of? I mean really? I gave up trying to figure it out, I just told myself it would be okay, nothing would happen to me – over and over – until I hauled my carcass down to the water’s edge. The tide was out, there weren’t any waves, the water was warm.
And it was as if a spell broke. The part of me that longs to play – I let her out. I leapt into that water like a crazy thing! Holy Moly it was wonderful! I swam and dived and lay on my back floating in that absolutely crystal clear water, happy as a king. A lark? Then I walked along the beach feeling utterly uninhibited. All my fears had just dropped off me. Stepping out of history in a BIG WAY today, yes!!!!
My my. While I was in the water I looked at the reality of the world around me – my world – and I thought about all the good things in my life. Piling up like crazy. Those awful days of my childhood where I was abandoned and alone, they’re over.
Now that’s something to celebrate, I reckon.
This is the first St. Valentine’s day I’ve enjoyed in my whole life – I mean up until the Webbuilding thing, but I already don’t care about it, I’ll figure it out tomorrow. St. Valentine’s day has always been really horrible for me. I’ve only had one card in my life, imagine that. I’ve always been so ashamed of not getting any, of not having lots of people to love me, lots of boyfriends, men friends. Ashamed of nowhere to go at Christmas and my birthday and New Year. Now I realise I have nothing to be ashamed of in myself. I am who I am, I’m not hideously malformed, I don’t have a horrible personality, I’m okay. I’m a normal, okay woman living her life in the best way she knows how. Just like all the rest of us. I have my challenges, but so has everybody. I wrestle with them, that’s all that matters. It’s impossible to not be part of the human race, to be outside of the sphere of normal human frailty and vulnerability, normal human desires and expectations, dreams.
It feels pretty good to know that. And as for my childhood, I’m not ashamed any more – or at least today! – of any part of me. I’m not ashamed that I didn’t stand up for myself better, that I didn’t find a way to say no, that I became so compliant and adaptive. I know who I was inside. I love that child that I was. I’m proud of her.
I’m not ashamed that I didn’t get a card today, or that I never have. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. There isn’t.
I want to have my dreams without the shame that used to come attached because they hadn’t come true yet. YET, I said. And let’s face it, I’m an unashamed romantic. I think it might be fun to get a card one day – and to send one – whenever I meet my Jack, whenever I’m ready. Fun to wear a red slinky dress and go out dancing.
Hold onto that thought.